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Venice introduces new tourism tax

The Italian parliament has approved a tourist entry fee for Venice in a bid to reduce the 30 million tourists who visit the slowly sinking lagoon city each year.

A minimum entry charge of €2.50 (R40) per person is expected, with the cost ranging between €5 (R78) and €10 (R155) per person during the high season. At the time of writing there was no date set for the introduction of the fee. 

Want to visit Venice? You may have to pay a tourist tax. Stock photo.

Tourists have long been charged a tax for spending a night or more in the city, and the new entry fee will not be an additional cost to the overnight traveller tax.

Italian authorities hope the entry fee will make a dent in the tourist influx and protect what Unesco has deemed “an endangered heritage site”. Funds will be used to manage the tons of trash left behind by day visitors.

… And New Zealand & (maybe) Bali

New Zealand will also implement a new tourism tax of up to NZ$35 (R230) per person for all international tourists except their Aussie neighbours.

The New Zealand government has said the tax will be used to fund infrastructure and upgrade services that are straining under the island nation’s tourism boom. According to the country’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, visitor numbers have skyrocketed by 30% since 2015, leaving locals complaining about crowds and mounds of left-behind rubbish.

Sights like Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve in New Zealand are well worth the proposed tourist tax. Stock Image

For South Africans and other travellers who require a visa before arrival the tax will be collected along with visa applications. It is due to be implemented mid-2019.

Meanwhile, Bali has become the latest country to consider introducing a tourist tax, needed to pay for services to clean up the trash left behind by the close to six-million international travellers who visit the Indonesian island each year. 

Tourism taxes, like the ones proposed in Bali, will help promote sustainable tourism. Stock photo of Bias Tugel Beach, Indonesia.

At the time of writing, the proposal for a US$10 tax per person had not yet been signed into law. 

Time for us all to start treading more lightly when we travel? We think so.

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